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and caution the u.s. is investigating claims that the syrian president bashar assad used them, the president bristleed when israeli reporter suggested the u.s. has been sitting on their hands. >> it's incorrect for you to say we have done nothing. we helped mobilize the isolation of the assad regime internationally. we have supported and recognized the opposition. >> the president first said assad's days were numbers 19 months ago. last summer, he warned of potential u.s. force against syria. >> red line for us. we start saying bunch of chemical weapons moving around or utilized. that would change my calculus. >> back in washington today, the top republican charged the administration's policy has been adrift. >> the obama administration saw assad as a reformer in their words. it backed the u.n. diplomacy and bet on moscow to play a productive role. none of this worked. >> netanyahu's intelligence director said it's clear that the chemical weapons were used in syria. the chairman of the house intelligence committee said he believes that chemical weapons were used by the regime as a caveat. >>
. they are blaming the assad regime. russia supports the government's claim. the united states says there is no evidence. >> i am not going to discuss intelligence, but it is important that is fighting in syria and to devise any regime becomes more desperate that the united states and international community make absolutely clear to assad that the use of chemical weapons would be totally unacceptable. >> totally unacceptable -- jay carney there. steve, it is a complicated picture. what do we know about what happened and what did not happen? >> it is cloudy. it is hard to make an assessment from here. people who know about these things -- there seems to be a consensus that we should at least be cautious about these claims. -look at the video of the victims, they do not seem to have the injuries that would be consistent with the chemical weapons attack. talking about smelling the chemical agent, you would have needed vast quantities of chlorine, which was used by insurgency in iraq. these experts do not believe -- certainly the rebels and possibly not the syrian government as well --
with benjamin netanyahu. following a would closed-door meeting between those two leaders. as the assad regime and syrian rebels accuse each other of launching deadly chemical and launching a deadly chemical attack just hours before the president's arrival. the white house at this point says it cannot con official those claims. this trip to israel is the first for the president. this is a four-day middle east trip. he was greeted by netanyahu and israeli president perez. before leaving the a airport, president obama was shown the israeli air force system which the u.s. helped pay for. he met with president perez and took part in a ceremonial tree planting. >> there is a common vision uniting us. to confirm dangers. to bring closure as soon as possible. >> i reaffirm president perez, as i will throughout my visit, that in this work, the state of israel will have no greater friend than the united states. right now as president meets with prime minister netanyahu, major issues, like syria, iran's nuclear program, stalled peace talks. ish a us taking center stage and joining me live now from jerus
weapons. there were reports from syria that the president assad regime used chemical weapons against the rebels and the united states reached the conclusion that that is probably not so. this situation is close to the brink of forcing the united states to intervene in some way to prevent crossing this redline. president obama's trip to the region, including jordan, is hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and highlighted the fact that the situation on the ground in syria is not getting better. there is no sign that it will get better. it does not seem the united states has a response to this ongoing challenge. guest: the united states has been the biggest donor in terms of humanitarian and financial aid to the syrian opposition. close to $500 million so far. also giving logistical and to indications training. we are told there is some training and intelligence being given to the militants, parts of the opposition. we need to understand what is going on in syria is looking like a civil war. a civil war between extremist islamic militant groups that are not real militias. there are
are already the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. i'm confident that assad will go. it is not a question of if. it is when. and so part of what we have to spend a lot of time thinking about is what is the aftermath? for the american people we have to recognize we have a stake here. >> a half million syrian refugees have fled to jordan. a nation already dependent on foreign aid including $13 billion from the u.s. king abdullah says assad's days are numbers but fears islam rule could emerge in its place. chuck todd is traveling with the president and asking the president as many questions as he wants. that's how chuck todd gets down. chuck, i have one question for you. what is going on in your world right now? >> well, it has been a pretty busy day. you brought up the issue of syria and this is classic all politics is local issue when it comes to jordan. this issue of syrian refugees and the economic toll it is taking on the country is clearly the number one item on the king's agenda. he equated it. he made an interesting little parallel. he said they may get
. >>> and now syria. the assad regime and rebel forces are accusing one another of using chemical weapons. syrian state media reported that rebel forces launched a chemical attack killing at least two dozen people, injuring more than 100 people. rebels deny that charge vehemently and accuse regime forces of shelling a town near damascus with chemical rockets. our senior international reporter is in amman, jordan, this morning. i know there are a lot of questions to substantiating the claims. what do we know so far? >> reporter: most of the information is coming from syrian state tv. and that's claiming that at least 25 people were killed in some kind of an attack in a village. scores of people wounded. and then syrian state tv playing interviews with some of the alleged victims who were saying that they smelled chlorine and almost all aping the same message, is this the freedom that the free syrian army rebels want? so some of those statements do come out to be a little suspect. neither side has been entirely truthful when it comes to the information and media war over syria. now very qui
going on between the assad regime and rebels, all this talk in the past 48 hours about possible chemical weapons being used. this is very close to where the president is going to be. and then if you go beyond this, and you move over here to iran, look, here is israel over here, here is syria, here is iraq. here is iran over here. iran is about the size of alaska. you may notice at this point, it is all out here, sort of receiptireceipt i reddish looking. they may be a year away from having a nuclear weapon. the reason this is red is this is the range of the shehadeh 3 missile from iran. it easily reaches over here to israel and that's important to bear in mind, because all this is happening in the small place. here is a simple way to describe it. if you went from tehran directly over to tel aviv, this is the distance from boston to chicago. you cross only four or five states in the united states to cover all that ground and all of these issues, wolf, are happening in this really relatively small area and as we pointed out, right in the middle, here is iraq, some of the turmoil that happe
join the effort of others to arm the opposition? how long will assad stay in power? that changes on almost a day-to-day basis because the situation is so uncertain as it enters the third year. the president is a bit defensive because people ask where was the world's biggest super power? you are supposed to be the voice of humanitarian needs around the world. how could you let this go on so long? why haven't you done more? the president said today at the news conference the united states from the start was calling on assad to step down and we know if you look at the calendar it is simply not true. many other countries were ahead of the united states in calling for assad to step down but it's a tough one for the president. he is right in the sense the united states used military force in this region from the beginning, there is still a big hangover from the iraq war in this part of the world. it would have been controversial. all the choices are difficult. he does get a bit defensive when that question is posed, wolf. >> he certainly does at least that is the impression you get fro
's a long standing syria through the decline or democrat myself of the assad regime, which i think is inevitable, will be a serious blow to iran. >> so if you have washington, sir, on one side of the scale and tehran on the other, who does baghdad more closely align with? >> well, our hope is, of course, that it will be a truly democratic regime which will be primarily loyal to the interests of the people in iraq and that their views will be consistent with others in supporting and strengthening democratic institutions. but as with many of the other countries in the middle east, there are a whole series of conflicting interests there and it will play out over a long period of time. but our interest is in democratic institutions, democratic societies who will serve their people and not be so much interested in the kinds of conflicts that have raged for so long in that region. >> you mentioned your hopes are for the inevitable assad regime there in syria. but today one of the national coalition, the head of that resigned. he was the key u.s. ally among the rebels. how big of a blow i
, maybe chlorine gas, that's not nerve agents. i think that assad may have been testing the waters. if chemicals were used, you've got to watch if he's going to use them in the future as the situation grows increaselying desperate and feels he has nothing to do lose, but meanwhile for us and for the israelis, apart from the geopolitical mess and instability, the real and present danger is chemical weapons falling into the hands of islamist fanatics. we are apparently, i'm told, we're told, we're working on a plan to deal with that militarily if necessary, but if we have to, megyn, it's going to be ugly and tough and messy. >> megyn: and i wanted just to clarify so it was the israeli minister of intelligence and strategic affairs who says it's apparently clear that a chemical weapons were used in syria and that that alleged attack will be a main topic of conversation between those two leaders today. ralph stand by, i'd love to hear from you on the opposite side of this presser to get some context on what we're about to hear. if the israelis are saying that syria has crossed the red
. but at the white house, president obama's spokesman late any blame on the assad government. >> deeply skeptical of a regime that lost all credibility and we one the regime against making these kinds of charges as any pretax or cover for its use of chemical weapons. >> whether in fact they casualty's were caused by chemical weapon has not been verified. al jazeera asked a leading expert to examine the hospital video and accounts of the attack. his conclusion, the casualties were not consistent with syria's reputed stockpile of chemical agents. >> if i had to make a quick decision, i would take out any sort of nominal chemical warfare agent and i would focus more on the -- if it is a chemical warfare agent, it is not working very well. >> the have often accused the syrian military of using chemical weapons but this is the first time the government made the same accusation against them. a syrian government official said the attack would be reported to human rights organizations but did not indicate whether outside experts would be given free access to investigate the attack. become aer, iraq has r
weapons have been used. they are not sure who used them, the rebels or the assad regime. the united states government has confirmed any of that but we will hear from the president. he has talked about the use of chemical weapons as a red line when it comes to syria. president will overnight here. tomorrow heads to the west bank, next day to jordan and an overnight stay with king abdullah. reporting from jerusalem, this is chuck todd, nbc news. >>> okay, chuck. thanks. we are waiting for that special report in israel. other news now drones debated on capitol hill today as the senate committee discusses the potential for domestic use. various law enforcement agencies, including alameda county sheriff's office have floated the idea of using drones for community surveillance. the unmanned aircraft are already being used by businesses and agriculture. but critics have raised concerns about privacy. drones took the spotlight a few weeks ago during kentucky senator rand paul's 13-hour filibuster on the senate floor when he discussed the possibility of drone strikes against u.s. citizens. >>> a bi
give some very specific messages. he repeated his warning to the assad regime not to dare use chemical weapons, which are of course a direct threat to israel as well, saying that the united states will respond. and he made a very strong iron-clad commitment on iran, another thing that israelis want to hear. >> you know, interesting you mention the heckler and you talk about the charm offensive. i believe it has been called operation desert schmooze by "the atlantic." he handled that very well. he got some laughs when he said, i wouldn't feel comfortable here if i hadn't been heckled at least once during a speech. but andrea, the genesis of all of this, and really as you talk about this being the crux of this particular trip, peace is necessary, peace is just, peace is possible. do you think those are the sentiments that are truly reflected there in israel? do you think people believe that peace could be possible? is there any kind of a time frame that you ever hear people say, if only this could happen, that could happen? >> israel is prosperous, but israel is now threatened by all of
who called for active approach to take out president bashar assad, from no-fly zone to airstrike. >> it's tragic. it's heart-breaking. the sight of children and women being slaughtered that we have seen so much i think has to compel all of us to say what more can we do? >> king abdullah is also under pressure. since a refugee camp alone is now the fifth largest city in jordan. there is also fear extremists will spread chemical weapons from syria to jordan and israel. abdullah resisted any foreign military intervention and today visibly winced as a reporter asked if it would provide asylum. the president tid penal is $200 million more in u.s. taxpayer assistance to jordan for refugee and scored diplomatic victory by getting israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu to patch things up by phone with his turkish counterpart after a bitter spat that could have hendered u.s. efforts to get turkey's help on syria. the president visited the church of the nativity in bethlehem and continued outreach to the people. although a stop at the holocaust museum in jerusalem may have provided a ch
are saying that the more desperate bashar al assad becomes, the more dangerous he also becomes. >> we've been very clear about our concerns that the assad regime is increasingly beleaguered, that it finds that the violence that it is using by conventional means is inadequate, including its barbaric use of scuds so we are quite concerned that they will resort to other weapons. we've made clear that this would constitute a red line for the united states. the president could not have been clearer about it. >> there are no plans right now to put any boots on the ground. but last year, the pentagon did do a report analyzing what it would take to secure those chemical weapons. they concluded it may take up to 70,000 troops on the ground. >> all right, chris lawrence at the pentagon, thanks. in just a few minutes we're going to talk to israeli government spokesman mark regev about the latest in syria and the president's trip to israel. >>> a disturbing story from colorado. zoraida sambolin has that. >> this just in to cnn the executive director of colorado's corrections department shot and killed la
've seen middle east dictators show no hesitation to use these chemical agents before. assad's own father used them. 40,000 syrians killed in hama. saddam hussein didn't hesitate to use chemical weapons against his own people and the iranian people. we know there is pattern in the middle east. the question is whether or not it actually happened here. when president obama talks about the red line being crossed, use of chemical agents if in fact that is proven would be the red line and i would believe provoke u.s. military intervention. bill: doug, what do you think?. >> i couldn't agree with monica more. let's be clear. this is the interest of the united states and our only stable democratic ally in the region, israel. israelis said, two ministers said yesterday they have definitive evidence that chemical weapons have been used in aleppo. i think we need to prepare for the likelihood we will have to intervene militarily on the side of the coalition to end this. bill: senator feinstein two days ago said we need to be prepared for dark days and she was in a highly classified meeting along wi
by president assad. fortunately the syrian nuclear capacity was destroyed but unfortunately thousands of chemical weapons remain. we can not allow those weapons to fall in the terrorists hands. itco lead to an epic tragedy. there's an attempt to bring spring to the arab world. it is an arab choice. it is an arab initiative. it may bring peace to the region, freedom to the people, economic progress to arab states. if realized it can lead to a better tomorrow. we pray it will become a reality. the vision between skeptics and those who believe in peace. your voice will encourage belief. you came -- you came to us with the clear message that no one should let skepticism win the day. a vision that says clearly that peace is not only a wish but a possibility. i fully support your call. there is no other way to make the future better. there is no better leader to make it possible. your visit is an historic step in that direction. we shall share the journey with you all the way. thank you. >> thank you so much. well, thank you, president peres, for your very generous words and your warm welco
massacre of the same people by president assad. fortunately, the syrian nuclear capacity was destroyed. but unfortunately, thousands of chemical weapons remain. we cann we cannot allow those weapons to fall in the terrorists' hands. it could lead to an epic tragedy. in an attempt to spring to the arab world, it is an arab choice, it is an arab initiative. it may bring peace to the region, freedom to the people, economic growth to the arab states. eventually, it can lead to a better tomorrow. we pray it will become a reality. i believe the real division is between skeptics and those who believe in peace. your voice will encourage, i believe. you came to us with the clear message that no one should let skepticism win the day. a vision that says clearly that peace is not only a wish, but a possibility. i fully support your call. there is no other way to make the fooch better. there is no better leader to make it possible. your visit is an historic step in that direction. we shall journey with you all the way. thank you. >> thank you so much. well, thank you, president peres, for your very
perspective they believe assad has months, perhaps to survive in power and they're very worried in israel about what comes next because they have the experience of what happened recently in egypt. but it is iran the top focus especially for the israeli prime minister. president obama has said recently he wants to give more chance for diplomacy, he thinks there's several more months of an opening to try to have a diplomatic solution. the israeli president told me yesterday he's fully convinced no doubts president obama would use military force if necessary if dmoems failed and iran was at the point of having a nuclear warhead. the question on this trip is to see whether prime minister netanyahu who raised doubts about the president in the past shares president perez's conviction that there's no room, no space between israel and washington on that question. >> john, i think there's very little chance we'll see president obama and prime minister netanyahu playing basketball together or something. it's always been a traditionally frosty relationship. i suppose it's a lot of fence mending goin
constructive steps as it relates to what happens after assad leaves and we're certainly hoping for that day to be upon us. >> senator, bob casey, thank you so much. it's good to see you. >> thanks, chris. >>> we were watching -- it was a ceremonial tree planting ceremony. but in the meantime, ambassador, let me ask you a little bit more about syria. and we heard both president obama and netanyahu reference the changing region. let me ask you about your -- your thoughts on arming the rebels. should we or what might happen to get us to that point. what do you imagine these conversations over syria are going to be like? >> this creeping incrementalism that we have engaged in over syria is for all intents and purposes is not going to really change the equation on the ground. we have so marginalized ourselves with respect to the events on the ground in syria. the rule and reason that the united states could comply is more or less dissipated. most are furious at the united states for not doing enough, depending on which side you talk to and which group you can wind up talking to. and so this deba
put out was the use of chemical weapons. there were reports from syria that the president assad regime used chemical weapons against the rebels and the united states reached the conclusion that that is probably not so. this situation is close to the brink of forcing the united states to intervene in some way to prevent crossing this redline. president obama's trip to the region, including jordan, is hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and highlighted the fact that the situation on the ground in syria is not getting better. there is no sign that it will get better. it does not seem the united states has a response to this ongoing challenge. guest: the united states has been the biggest donor in terms of humanitarian and financial aid to the syrian opposition. close to $500 million so far. also giving logistical and to indications training. we are told there is some training and intelligence being given to the militants, parts of the opposition. we need to understand what is going on in syria is looking like a civil war. extremistr between islamic militant groups that are not real
sit down and figure out what happens to syria after their president assad is gone. convincing iraq to stop that, the iraqi election to prime minister al-maliki recently and suddenly delayed for six months and secretary of state is to convince him and reverse course and not waiting for a vote. and a meeting got underway in the last half hour or so, at some points we expect to see kerry at a solo press conference in iraq and we hope to get an update then about how things have been going on this surprise trip. back to you in new york. >> alisyn: peter, thank you very much for the update. let's get to the rest of your headlines. another fox news for you right now. let's take a live look from vatican city. this is pope francis celebrating palm sunday mass in a packed st. peter's square and next to easter the most holy day in the catholic church. this is a day after pope francis met with pope emeritus benedict xvi, and the two spoke privately for about 45 minutes and then the two prayed side by side. a tragic skydiving accident in florida that left two people dead. an experienced instruc
to steer syria toward a post assad transition. >> back to israelis and their concerns about president obama, does the president need to simply establish the roots, the ancient jewish claim to this strip of land here? some in israel saying we're not so sure. >> well, certainly. i think that the president has not reached out to the israeli people in ways perhaps his predecessors have. and i think this is an opportunity to kind of reestablish the kind of rapport the israeli people traditionally want to have and need to have with an american president that they have confidence that he has israel's back. the fact is that there has been very significant and deep cooperation institutionally between the united states and israel. probably a more stable, successful relationship than ever before. but there is this lack of rapport between obama and the israeli people. and he'll do his best to reach out. one of the reasons he is speaking to college students and not at the knesset is to go beyond the government and try to establish a much more significant conversation with the israeli people. >> i wish w
massacre of the syrian people by president assad. fortunately, the nuclear capacity was destroyed. unfortunately, the arsenal of chemical weapons remain. we cannot -- those weapons to fall in the terrorist hands. it could lead to an epic tragedy. there was an attempt to bring spring to the arab world. it is an arab choice, it is an arab initiative. it may bring peace to the region, freedom to the people, economic growth to the upstates. if realized, it can lead to a better tomorrow. we pray it will become a reality. i believe the real division is between skeptics and those who believe in peace. your voice will encourage belief. you came to us with a clear message that no one should let skepticism win the day. a vision that says clearly that peace is not only a wish but a possibility. i fully support your call. there is no other way to make the future better. there's no better leader to make it possible. your visit is an historic step in that direction. we shall journey with you all the way. thank you. >> thank you so much. well, thank you, president peres for your very generous wo
or the opposition. have you seen proof that al-assad or the opposition used them? >> well, i don't know about proof. we're very concerned about these chemical weapons being taken or handed over to hezbollah in lebanon. i'll remind you there's roughly 60,000 missiles in lebanon targeted at the north and center of israel. the chemical weapons exist in syria. the missiles exist in lebanon. and when you connect the two, it's a mortal risk for israel and we'll protect ourselves against this sort of action. >> naftali bennett on the security. it's been three months since the shooting at sandy hook elementary school. but to night we just -- this just crossed. it shocked us. a statistic on gun permits. plus the ceo of starbucks comes "outfront." he takes on mayor michael bloomberg and all of washington. why not? >>> and a set of giant rockets discovered in the bottom of the ocean. we're going to show you the pictures and tell you exactly where these came from. from meeting customer needs... to meeting patient needs... ♪ wireless is limitless. [ female announcer ] from finding the best way... ♪ to findi
? what is their assessment of the assad government and the potential for chemical weapons used in syria? can the president nudge this prime minister and tomorrow when he goes into the palestinian territories, the palestinians back into a peace process. so what we have seen so far is the celebration and the pomp and the friendliness, the warm relationship, what we're about to hear is whether these leaders got any important business done. >> some of the most important business will involve iran, its nuclear program. but over the past 24 hours, a lot of confusion as far as fury on and so, of course, the israel jazz more reasisraelis have more reason. they want to pressure the president to do something. they want the u.s. to press for some sort of at least international coalition to take action. but you see a little bit of distance on this between the u.s. and the israeli position. it is what you see between the u.s. and israel also in iran and on a number of issues. some daylight, but overall, a larger shared view that something needs to be done, wolf. >> and i just want to remind our view
on president obama's mind. mr. obama says he is skeptical of the claims by the assad regime the rebels are using chemical weapons. he said that would be a game changer and cross a line for the united states. with more on this here's abc's alex marquardt. >> reporter: chaos in the hospital, men, women, children on respirators as family members wailed. in this brutal war this appears to have been a first. a rocket suspected of carrying a chemical slammed into a neighborhood in aleppo held by the syrian army. 25 were killed. over 100 wounded. >> translator: i felt my chest close. i couldn't breathe or speak. this little girl cried. i lost my mother. father and brother. >> reporter: the syrian regime accused the rebels of launching the rocket and called for an international investigation. the rebels blame the regime. israel said there is no doubt chemical weapons were used. but president obama wasn't so quick to agree. >> we intend to investigate thoroughly exactly what happened. >> reporter: it does not appear the chemical in question was one of those most feared in president bashar al-as
and it will be very critical that if there are chemical weapons being used by the assad regime president obama responds accordingly. that is another red line he is drawing. that is red line irisraelies will be watching and iranians. is this president serious about committing to red lines and honoring the red lines. uma: quickly with obama speaking to young people in israel, that was very interesting strategy on his part because he knows he often does well in those kind of settings, at that type of theater backdrop. >> i think that's right. president obama shown in the u.s. context he is he is brilliant at grassroots activism and getting support of the grassroots. he tried to go over the head of prime minister netanyahu. he tried to appeal to the grassroots to build political support, get beyond a 10% approval rating. he will need that and support of israeli people if he will is for israelies to take significant risks for peace with respect to the palestinians. uma: you used that word over, risk, over and over again. >> there is risk on israeli borders. missiles from the north. missiles from th
into an alleged chemical weapons attack by president assad's forces. >>> happening right now, president obama is on his first visit to israel since taking office. this is a live picture out of jerusalem where president obama is visiting israeli president, shimon peres at hiss residence. the two men -- at his residence. the two men just stepped indoors. as kyla campbell reports from our washington, d.c. bureau, the president is taking part in some intense talks with israeli leaders today. >> reporter: president obama and israeli leaders have to come up with an agreement on how to respond to iran's nuclear threats. we're gonna look at the president arriving to shimon peres's home a few moments ago. president obama and israeli leaders this morning called called the relationship between their two country, unbreakable even though they don't always agree. prime minister benjamin netanyahu warns iran will have a nuclear bomb ready in the next few months. president obama believes that's still a year away and that would allow more time for peace talks. the white house doesn't expect any major agreemen
a full investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack by president assad's forces. >>> happening right now, president obama is on his first visit to israel since taking office. this is a live picture out of jerusalem where president obama is visiting israeli president, shimon peres at hiss residence. the two men -- at his residence. the two men just stepped indoors. as kyla campbell reports from our washington, d.c. bureau, the president is taking part in some intense talks with israeli leaders today. >> reporter: president obama and israeli leaders have to come up with an agreement on how to respond to iran's nuclear threats. we're gonna look at the president arriving to shimon peres's home a few moments ago. president obama and israeli leaders this morning called called the relationship between their two country, unbreakable even though they don't always agree. prime minister benjamin netanyahu warns iran will have a nuclear bomb ready in the next few months. president obama believes that's still a year away and that would al
on back channels in moscow to get russia and vladimir putin to realize that assad is not around forever and at some point it's time to jump ship and support who is there in the future. my understanding is that doesn't seem to have pushed the russians at all. the russians are still firmly backing assad and don't think this is the time to switch. the alternatives in terms of arming the rebels is really all that the west is now looking at but they still have these reservations that if you give arms to elements of the rebels, how do you know that they don't end up in the hands of the extremis extremists? if america is going to dictate what happens in the future in syria, it needs to have a place at the table. it needs to be able to be part of the discussion and i suspect that will eventually lead to america taking part with a coalition in giving small arms to syrian rebels. >> ron, it's fascinating, that the president goes to israel without a peace plan in his back pocket or without any hopes of a peace plan in his back pocket. almost unprecedented. does this tell us how important iran is n
that chemical weapons were used in syria. she would not say that it is tied to the assad regime, she would not say who was behind it, but she is not the only israeli official now to go on the record and say in israeli estimation, chemical weapons were used. that is not what u.s. officials are saying. so, again, to emphasize, the white house is not sharing that same assessment at this point. but, clearly, this adds a new measure of urgency to the israeli perspective on this consideration. syria is right over the border from israel. there are a number of concerns for israel in this regard. one, chemical weapons, any attack there could actually hurt israelis, because it's so close. there's a potential refugee problem, and they'd be concerned that chemical weapons could get to their enemies, hezbollah, in lebanon. but beyond that, ashleigh, you asked if this would overtake iran as a concern, and the answer is no. because this trip for the president is largely about israel's security broadly. and the u.s. assuring israelis that the president stands for keeping israel safe, and when it comes to
, the chairman of the house intelligence committee insisted bashar al assad's forces have used chemical weapons. >> there's a body of evidence, a body of reporting that leads me to believe, as of yesterday, that the syrians have in fact, throughout this conflict, that in a small number of times, used some quantity of chemical weapons. >> one more finding by the u.s. intelligence community, senior administration officials tell our jessica yellin in israel that the united states is deeply skeptical of those regime claims that the rebels launched a chemical attack. they say there is no evidence to date that rebel forces have their hands on any chemical arsenal. wolf, brianna? >> barbara starr live at the pentagon. >>> congress managed to avoid the threat of a government shutdown next week. the house gave final approval to a bill to fund agencies through the end of september. they sent the bill to the president for his signature. the measure also softens the impact of those forced budget cuts, especially at the pentagon. the senate, by the way, passed the measure yesterday. >>> north korea threaten
scared where the united states is pushing for president bashar assad to leave office. obviously the united states and israel are very concerned about the chemical weapons. israel is probably only concerned if they get into the wrong hands. the united states has concern about whether they're used again somebody else. this is something they're going to talk about and also something the united states and israel cooperated on the intelligence level. yesterday as these reports were coming out, con -- conflicting reports, were chemical reports used, were they not, right now they are not typical chemical weapons but that is what the united states and israel are worried about and trying to plan contingencies for to try to deal with. >>steve: leland vittert live in israel. >>alisyn: let's talk about what happened yesterday at hoefplt there's always been a lot of discussion with the sequester cuts how much latitude the head of every agency in what will be cut. yesterday the head of i.c.e. was testifying in front of the house judiciary committee and he admitted he didn't have to release th
's why i'm quite skeptical about it right now. >>brian: what's the worst scenario? that assad is using it as the government in charge or that the rebels have it? and we know inside the rebel organization, if you can call it that, are muslim extremists? >> absolutely. they're both bad because once one uses it, the other side will use it. the real danger is hezbollah gets it and would use it on israel. that's the great fear that i have. >>brian: general, how do you know all this stuff about agents? was that a focus of yours? >> i used to be in command of a unit that used to have that mission before we signed the chemical weapons treaty. i'm intimately familiar with using them, storing them, putting them on airplanes. this is with fighters we had them. and that is a very difficult area to work on. and i had a great deal of experience with that. of course we no longer use them and it's no longer in our inventory. >>brian: we know the president said that's a red line. we think we know where this stuff is housed. can we go with an airstrike, blow it up and not poison the surrounding populati
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